• Finalization of EAC CET Review will increase Intra- EAC Trade  
  • EABC-TMEA Regional Private Sector  Workshop on EAC-CET Review Kicks-Off

Arusha, Tanzania, 22nd August 2019:- The EABC – TMEA Regional Private Sector Workshop on Comprehensive Review of the EAC-Common External Tariff (CET) kicked off today in Nairobi, Kenya.  The regional workshop offers a platform for the private sector players to revive a common industrialization vision for the region and address any inconsistencies identified in the EAC CET that hinder intra-EAC trade and investments.


The 34th Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers held in 2016, directed the EAC Secretariat to undertake a Comprehensive Review of the EAC CET and Rules of Origin to align the tariff structure and rates in a bid to respond to the global changes of trade and current economic environment in EAC.


In his remarks the Chief Guest Mr. Mwine Jim Kabeho, EABC Vice-Chair said the new paradigm thinking is looking at Africa as a unit and urged private sector to reflect this in the EAC CET review deliberations.


“The EAC should address inconsistencies of the Customs Union and the Common Market to enhance industrial competitiveness, value chains, joint ventures and partnerships,” said Mr. Mwine Jim Kabeho, EABC Vice Chair


In her remarks, Ms. Rachel Muthoga, Deputy CEO KEPSA urged for a regional approach in coming up with the private sector recommendations on the review of the CET in a bid to increase intra–regional trade.


Ms. Mary Ngechu- Director, EABC Board Director highlighted the importance to include interests of SMEs in the EAC CET review process who are the backbone of the EAC economy.


Mr. Allan Ngugi, Director Private Sector Advocacy TMEA  emphasized on importance for the Private Sector to speak in One Voice to the EAC Heads of State on issues of CET for the manufacturing sector in the region to thrive. He reiterated TMEA’s commitment to partner with the East African private sector for trade to flourish and jobs creation.


“The EAC-CET review process is an opportunity to strengthen our trade policies towards enhancing the competitiveness of the EAC regional bloc,” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO.


The EAC CET review process has delayed, mainly due to divergent positions by the EAC Partner States on the maximum CET rates and the threshold to determine the availability of finished products in the EAC region.


“This workshop comes at an opportune time when new developments such as the AfCFTA is in force. Hence the East African private sector need to come up with a harmonized recommendation on EAC CET review to support regional value chains, agriculture and the Buy East African, Build East Africa campaign” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO. He said the EAC CET review process needs to be fast-tracked to improve intra-EAC trade, which is below 20% and lauded H.E Paul Kagame and H.E Yoweri Kaguta  Museveni for demonstrating and reiterating their commitment to the EAC regional integration and improving the business  environment during the quadripartite summit.


“The need to fast-track the comprehensive review of the EAC CET cannot be over-emphasized given the importance to EAC economies in terms of creating tariff predictability and a level playing field for the producers in the EAC,” said Hon Mathuki, CEO EABC.


The EABC organizes this workshop at the backdrop of enhancing knowledge and awareness of the private sector on the implications of EAC CET, Stays of Applications, Duty Remission Regimes, Exemption Regimes and role in the review and final implementation of agreed EAC CET.


The workshop is expected to establish a clear collaboration framework among the private sector and come up with consolidate options to expedite finalization of review of EAC CET.




  • Remarks by Hon. Peter Mathuki, CEO / Executive Director EABC
  • EABC Update on Comprehensive  EAC CET Review


About East African Business Council (EABC)

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the Integration process of the East African Community. EABC was granted observer status in organs and activities of the East African Community (EAC) and therefore, participates in various sectoral meetings, meetings of the Coordination Committee, the EAC Council of Ministers, and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State; with a view to ensure that the agenda of the Private Sector is well articulated and received by the policymakers.


Vision: Borderless East Africa for business and investment.


Mission: To promote sustainable Private Sector-driven growth.


EABC Membership is open to all national and regional associations as well as Corporates with interest in the EAC integration process or operations in the region. At the national level, EABC activities are coordinated through the EABC National Focal Points. These are Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Burundi (CFCIB), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

For more information visit www.eabc.info.


About TradeMark East Africa

TradeMark (Trade and Markets) East Africa is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established in 2010, with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America. TMEA works closely with Regional Intergovernmental Organisations, like the East Africa Community, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.


The first phase of TMEA (2010-2018) delivered exceptional results which contributed to substantial gains in East Africa’s trade and regional integration in terms of reduced cargo transit times, improved border efficiency, and reduced barriers to trade.


We are now in the second phase (2018 - 2023) where we will focus on:


  1. Reducing barriers to trade; and
  2. Improving business competitiveness.


We believe this will deliver large-scale impact in job creation, poverty reduction and enhanced economic welfare.

TMEA has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with successful operations and offices in EAC-Arusha, Burundi (Bujumbura), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Democratic Republic of Congo (Bukavu), Ethiopia (Addis-Ababa), South Sudan, Uganda (Kampala) and Rwanda (Kigali). To find out more, please visit our website www.trademarkea.com.